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Vacuum Food Sealer

Copyright October 1, 2013 by Robert Wayne Atkins, P.E.
All Rights Reserved.

Ziploc Vacuum Sealer If you do not already own a food vacuum sealer then I suggest that you consider the "Ziploc" Vacuum Food Sealer (about $50 at Walmart). I also recommend the "Ziploc" brand vacuum seal bags.

I strongly recommend that you vacuum seal all of your emergency dry foods, such as white rice and dry beans. If you will vacuum seal your dry foods then you will achieve all the following:
  1. The oxygen will be eliminated from the food and the shelf life of the food will be significantly extended.
  2. The moisture in the air that currently surrounds the food will also be eliminated when you vacuum seal the food.
  3. The vacuum seal will also keep the moisture that is in the fresh humid air that is in the food storage area from attacking and degrading the food.
  4. The vacuum seal will kill any tiny insect eggs that may already be in the food and it will also keep future insects out of the food package.
  5. The vacuum seal will help to preserve the freshness and the original flavor, color, aroma, and nutrients in the food.
Vacuum Bags Long Rolls
Bags: 1 Gallon EachRolls: 8 Inches Wide and 20 Feet Long

Vacuum Seal Bags: There are two ways to purchase vacuum bags as follows:
  1. Standard Size Bags: These are bags that are already formed into a specific size. Each bag in the box is the same size, such as one gallon bags. These are nice to have when you are sealing items that are approximately the same size as the bag.
  2. Long Rolls: The long rolls of bags are sold in different widths. The two most common widths are 8 inches wide and 11 inches wide. To seal an item you select a width that is just a little wider than the width of the item you wish to seal. You then measure the length of the item you wish to seal and you cut a bag from the roll that is about 3 or 4 inches longer than the item. After you seal one end of the bag, you place the item in the bag you just created, and then you seal the opposite end of the bag. This gives you the flexibility to create a small bag for a small item, or a very long bag for a very long item. If you buy the long rolls then you can cut individuals bags from the roll to the exact length you need. Therefore there will be very little waste because:
    • You won't need to seal a small item inside a large bag, and
    • You can seal the foods in the quantities you think you will need so you can open one bag at a time and the rest of your food will remain fresh inside its own vacuum sealed bag.
If you wish you may vacuum seal your dry foods in their original packages, or you may remove the food from its package and then vacuum seal the food. Some packages, such as flour, cornmeal, and sugar, are not airtight and a vacuum sealer will draw the air out of the food that is inside the package and the package will collapse around the food. On some packages, such as bagged rice and bagged dry beans, you can punch a few tiny holes or cut a few tiny short slits in the top of the package and this will allow the vacuum sealer to pull the air out of the package. You may need to open some packages, such as a box of corn starch, and cut a tiny slit in the top of the inner plastic bag that contains the corn starch before you vacuum seal the plastic bag that contains the corn starch. If the dry food is in a box, such as Quaker oats or baking soda, then you may need to transfer the food to a zipper bag and then vacuum seal the food while it is inside the zipper bag.

Identification of Bagged Items: Regardless of what you seal inside a vacuum bag, you should write a brief description of whatever is inside the bag on the outside of the bag using a medium tip permanent black ink marker, along with the date you sealed the item, such as the following: 26 ounces Iodized Salt, Sealed October 1, 2013.

Note 1: If you use vacuum sealed storage bags then you will not need to purchase any "oxygen absorber packets" because the vacuum sealing process will remove all the oxygen from inside the specially designed bags.

Note 2: Vacuum sealing is not a substitute for refrigeration or freezing. Any food item than needs to be refrigerated or frozen will still need to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer after you vacuum seal it. However, vacuum sealing will help that food item to remain edible about 3 to 5 times longer than if it wasn't sealed. It will eliminate the problem with freezer burn because you will have isolated the food from the cold dry air inside the freezer.

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